Children’s flu vaccine may reduce Strep A risk, study suggests Tech News

The flu vaccine for children can also reduce the risk of Strep A infection, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

The vaccine, available as a nasal spray, is given annually to preschool and elementary school children.

A new study compared Streptococcus A In areas where the vaccine is offered to all young children and in other areas where the roll-out is progressive by grade.

The results showed that between 2013 and 2017, the rate of Strep A infection among children aged 2 to 4 years ranged from 73.5 per 100,000 in areas where the vaccine was widely used to 93 per 100,000 in other areas.

The difference was less pronounced among children aged 5 to 10, with 57.8 Strep A per 100,000 in the widely covered area compared with 50.3 per 100,000 elsewhere.

However, there were no differences in scarlet fever or severe invasive group A streptococcal (iGAS) infection.

Dr Jamie Lopez Bernal, UKHSA consultant epidemiologist in immunization and countermeasures, said: “Our findings suggest that the nasal spray vaccine program is good at preventing influenza and may also help reduce the rate of (strep A) infection among children. .

“Children infected with influenza are at greater risk of subsequent infections, including group A strep, so these findings provide parents of eligible children with additional reasons to get the flu vaccine early.

“This is especially important at a time when we’re seeing unusually high rates of group A strep infections in the population.”

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What is Streptococcus A?

UKHSA said it was “not too late” for children to get a flu shot.

Parents of pre-school children should make an appointment with their GP. Those with older children should contact their schools.

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